15 September 2005

Subway Flasher Caught

Remember that guy on Flickr? He's been caught.

The newspaper ran Ms. Nguyen's cellphone picture on its front page on Aug. 27, along with a story identifying the man as the owner of a local restaurant specializing in raw foods. According to a subsequent Daily News story, five women later contacted police and said they had been flashed on the subway by the man in the picture. Dan Hoyt was arraigned in criminal court in New York on Sept. 1 on four counts of lewd behaviour, and was released on $5,000 (U.S.) bail posted by his business partner and former wife. If convicted, he faces up to three months in jail.

The article also goes on to talk about this:

Subways also played a role in another recent incident of cellphone vigilantism in South Korea in June, in which a woman was photographed after she refused to clean up after her dog on a subway. This snapshot was also posted to a number of blogs, at which point the woman -- who was later identified by acquaintances -- became known as "Dog Poop Girl." But, many people criticized her treatment as a "witch hunt."

I dunno... is it a 'Witch Hunt' when it actually catches a witch?


Blogger Rev. Syung Myung Me said...

That's pretty good news. I saw the thing about the Dog Poop Girl too (she's got a Wikipedia page), and was sort of torn; on one hand, I'm amused by and sort of for an enforcement of Human Decency, but on the other hand, there's the whole invasion of privacy issue as well as where the line is drawn. I mean, I think we all can agree that letting your dog shit on a train and not cleaning it up or flashing strangers are both Bad Things that it's good to punish; but what if, say, someone who didn't like gays took a Dog Poop Girl-esque photo of two men kissing or holding hands?

On one hand, it could make things much more reserved or whatnot, people afraid to do ANYTHING that might be out of the norm (which I think would be definitely, very much a bad thing), but on the other hand, would all of these attempts work? I mean, would the reaction of, say, the people photographed kissing be "Oh no! Now the world knows!" or something along the lines of "Yeah, that was me, and that was him. I love him. If you've got some sort of problem, that's, well, your problem, not mine. And I don't get your deal." I mean, I can't think of anything that I've done/do that could be caught on "film" in public like this that I wouldn't be unapologetic over (though, I can't even think of anything I do that could be the subject of such a photograph, either, even in the hyper-moralistic nightmare world I'm positing, so I could be the wrong person to ask).

It is pretty interesting to think about, though.

I could mention the thing on MeFi, too, about the group that was publicising the addresses of people who signed an anti-gay-marriage petition in Massachusetts, but that's not really the same thing, as a) That's Public Record and b) It's not really saying explictly "Don't do this, you evil swine" (though that is clearly the subtext..8), but it's more clearly about "Hey, you, with the beliefs! Why are you whispering what you believe, here, let's provide this Megaphone so you can shout it to the world, don't be shy!" (With the kicker that, well, if for some reason, you're not fine with stating these beliefs, because they're irrational, stupid and hateful, well, just maybe, maaaaybe, you shouldn't be, you know, trying to make them into law, huh?)

2:05 PM, September 15, 2005  
Blogger Lee H. said...

I agree with you. but I think that any gay people who would engage in a PDA probably aren't afraid of being identified as gay. Now, what if someone stood outside a gay bookstore or bar and started snapping pics with their cameraphone of people entering and leaving, and posted THOSE online? Then we start to enter a harrassment/invasion of privacy scenario, I think.

The MeFi thing about publicizing those who sign a petition is sort of uncomfortable, but I think justified, for the reasons you said: It's public record, and if people are ashamed to be linked to laws they want to see passed, well, I'm not sure that falls under the idea of "privacy." I'm sure I can think of GOOD laws that people might be afraid to endorse publicly, as well, but I still think in matters of government, openness is usually better than secrecy.

3:42 PM, September 15, 2005  
Blogger Rev. Syung Myung Me said...

Yeah, that is a much better hypothetical, so just pretend I put that one forward..8)

But yeah; I could sort of appreciate the people who were against it, but I ended up agreeing with your posts on the issue (and I liked the Unicycle thing, heh), which is why I didn't end up posting; I came a little late to that party, and I don't think I really had much to add that wasn't already said by you and others. I did think that the some of the arguments put forth were a little disingenuous (i.e. I would be overjoyed if someone put online that I signed a Pro-Gay-Marriage petition, say). But I could understand the potential for harassment, too, which is what keeps me from being a strong 100% behind this, but, I think if I had to decide between "this is NEVER done EVER" and "this is ALWAYS done ALWAYS", I'd probably be a little bit closer to the Always. Though, I think neither absolute is preferable. The main reason I can think of to not provide folks with the megaphone is (in the case where it'd apply to me, being Pro-Gay-Marriage) a little bit of fear of Anti-Gay-Marriage Morons kicking my ass for thinking that any kind of love was allr right. But, well, I'm thinking that if that keeps me from stating my beliefs, at least on that sort of issue (where actual-gay-bashings are not exactly uncommon sadly), then, well, that's pretty damn lame, I think.

I think there are some issues I could see being a little quieter on (Hm, it's hard to think of one off-hand; the best I can think of is legalization of drugs, and that's only because legalization advocates are often linked with drug users (though not always, as I'm one who is pro-legalization and completely non-drug-usin'!), which isn't (understandbly, at least in some sense) exactly a flashing beacon to employers, say. (Gay Rights Isuses are also something that can cause you to not be hired, but, well, at least you know that it's a bigoted idiot who's firing you, right? And you probably wouldn't want to work for a Bigoted Idiot anyway, if you had a choice, anyway.)

So, um... I'm not really sure where I'm going with this. I'm just sort of rambling here, so I guess I'll knock it off for a little bit..8)

ambmctos: The ambidextrous taco!

3:55 PM, September 15, 2005  
Blogger Lee H. said...

Heh... I was in full-on "Irish" mode that evening, for sure. :)

It's an intriguing issue, for sure. I'll always be in favor of secret ballots at the voting booth, for example, even though I think other parts of the law-making process should be totally transparent.

6:13 PM, September 15, 2005  

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